Classical Africa

Warm Up
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opinion what should school districts do to
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Classical Africa
Northeast Africa
• Early Nubia: Egypt as a model, gold and slaves
• Napata (Kush): 8th- 6th century fought with Egyptians
• Meroë: Nubians adopted Hellenism, gold and ivory,
irrigation technology, 5 independent female rulers,
shifting trade patterns lead to decline
Blue Nile, Northern Ethiopia
Kushite Pyramids
Christian Nubia (NEA)
• Missionaries converted nobility (543-1504)
• Divided into feudal kingdoms
• Christian society with monasteries, cathedrals, and castles
ruled by African bishops and knights
Ethiopian Highlands (NEA)
• South of Nubia: outside Nile valley
• 2nd oldest African civilization
• Arab colonists intermarried and absorbed by locals: State
of Axum
• Axum kings: Merchant princes of Red Sea trade
• Major regional power until coming of Islam
Ethiopian Highlands
West Africa
• Horse: military system rested on armored, mounted knights
• Camel: major event in African history, TRANS-SAHARAN TRADE
with North Africa
• Divine Kingship: used to establish ideology for the centralized
politics and economy
• Gold: success rested on camels, new fields, and strong kingdoms
Ghana (WA)
• Oldest historical West African kingdom
• Greatest period 10-13th centuries
• Gold: biggest, wealthiest, most powerful state in west
• Traditional religions: Divine Kingship
Ghana and Islam
• Muslim merchants in 9th century
• Ghana kings learned to capitalize on writing and
administration skills
• Merged into a single society
• Sacked by Muslim Berbers from the Sahara
• Lost preeminence in Africa
Mali (WA)
• United WA after fall of Ghana
• Sundiata: Alexander of Africa
• Mansa Musa: MVP of Mali society
– Ruled at height of power
– Pilgrimage
– Wide spread inflation
Mansa Musa
Songhai (WA)
Final and greatest kingdom 1464-1592
Overthrew Mali
Great centers of Islamic learning and culture
Overthrown by Moroccans in 1591
Benin and Ifo (Art and Statues)
Southern and Central Sub-Saharan Africa
• Numerous ethnic groups collectively known as Bantu, a
linguistic term
• Not native, migrated from western Africa (Niger river) as
early as 400 BCE
• Iron tools: increased population, powerful military states
• Social organization: male solidarity, expands power and
Zimbabwe cave
carbon dated at
nearly 1000
years ago
(Great Zimbabwe)
• Flourished in 13-17th centuries
• Power: Bantu military traditions, gold, good agricultural
production, and control of trade routes
• Most famous part is walled complex at Great Zimbabwe: supreme
example of indigenous African architecture. Included stone places,
walls, towers, and shrines
Great Zimbabwe Ruins